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Chao Ca Recipe (Fish Congee) Recipe

Chao Ca Recipe (Fish Congee)

05.14.13 by Jackie

Cháo cá (Vietnamese for fish congee) is Aria's favorite dish these days. At one and a half years old now, she's able to eat pretty much anything and everything. But don't be fooled by its appearance; rice congee isn't only meant for babies. Cháo is a very popular meal in Asia; I personally love it too. 

In this version of congee I cook rice in fish stock until it becomes a thickened soup. I like to make small portions at a time by adding thinly sliced white flaky fish, ginger, onions and cilantro at the last minute. The key to flavorful fish congee is to use the freshest products available.


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Mixed-Bean Soup Recipe Recipe

Mixed-Bean Soup Recipe

04.25.13 by Jackie

This is probably the last soup I'm making this season as we're slowly experiencing warmer temperatures. I prepared the soup with 10 varieties of beans. Four-pound mixed bean packages are readily available at my local Korean market. In this particular one, only seven dried beans were mixed in it, namely soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, peas, black eyed peas and lima beans. I also added white cannellini beans, green beans and edamame beans to complete the nourishing soup.

In addition to the soup, I included corn kernels for extra sweetness and deep-fried tofu cubes for texture. Everyone in my home enjoyed it because the starchy vegetables are quite filling and almost make you forget about meat!


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Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen) Recipe

The authentic recipe for lotus soup, called canh củ sen in Vietnamese, calls for pork broth, dried scallops, dried octopus and various dried fruits and nuts. With my family being mostly vegetarian, I adapted it to fit everyone's diet. 

I tried to mimic the meaty broth with Okinawan potatoes (purple-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes) and preserved daikon radish and flavored it with the usual dried black dates called jujube (or plum), dried South almonds, peanuts and gojee berries. Lastly, fresh lotus root is sliced thinly and added to the broth until softened. Some people like it on the crunchy side, but I prefer it very tender.


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Corn and Crab Soup Recipe Recipe

Corn and Crab Soup Recipe

03.27.13 by Jackie

This crab soup , simply called súp cua in Vietnamese, was my attempt to finish the leftover crab from last night's dinner. We bought six crabs for the two people who actually eat seafood in our house, so there was a fair amount unfinished. I prepared cua rang me (Vietnamese tamarind crab) and that's basically all we ate with a little salad on the side. We were so full by the end of the meal that we could not finish the dish. It was our Mount Everest and we didn't conquer it!  

I didn't want to waste the delicious crab, so I cracked the rest and gathered the crab meat. I had chicken stock in the freezer and I thickened it with a little corn starch. I added frozen corn and green onions to the soup and the result was just as I expected: mildly sweet, velvety and wonderfully soothing. Simply perfect!


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Tet Celebrations: Canh Hoanh Thanh (Wonton Soup Recipe) Recipe

This week marks the beginning of the Tết celebrations. A tradition of Tết is that you eat vegetarian (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and first day of Asian New Year, so I decided this week I will be sharing several vegetarian Vietnamese dishes with you until the celebration commences this weekend.

I haven't made wonton soup (canh hoành thánh in Vietnamese) in a while, which is a shame because it's not all that complicated. The filling consists of carrots, tofu, chestnuts, green onions, wood ear mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. I also made a simple broth to let the flavorful vegetarian dumplings be the shining stars.


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